Quick tips to remember when staying outdoors in summer

A man lying on the grass in the sun with his dog.

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Summer is here! Time for swimming, camping, and getting as much sun as you can. There are many things you can do in Manitoba this summer. These tips will ensure your comfort and safety during outings and outdoor activities:

Protect your skin (and health)

Too much sun can be harmful. Average temperatures in Manitoba in summer is between 11 °C and 25 °C (or even higher). The sunlight can be harsh.

To prepare for the heat:
Check the temperature before leaving the house. Too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause skin cancer and other health problems (Healthy Canadians.gc.ca). When the UV index is 3 or higher, wear protective clothing. Check the Canadian Daily UV Index Forecast to know the index for the day.

Quick tips and reminders:

  1. Wear proper clothing. You may need a light jacket since it is colder in the mornings. You can take it off later in the day. Wear light-colored clothing made from breathable fabric like cotton and linen. Sunglasses, a hat, and an umbrella can come in handy.
  2. Stay hydrated. Always bring a water bottle when you walk, hike, or bike. Drink cool liquids even before you get thirsty to avoid heat illnesses.
  3. Wear sunblock. Sunblock or sunscreen protects against UV rays. Look for “broad-spectrum” sunscreen. It should have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Use water resistant sunblock when swimming. Do not put sunscreen on babies less than six months of age.
  4. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out. Reapply it 20 minutes after going out and every two hours thereafter. This is important when you are swimming or engaging in outdoor activities that make you sweat.
  5. Limit your time in the sun . Limit exposure to sunlight between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. That’s when they UV light is strongest.
  6. Don’t leave people or pets in a parked vehicle or in direct sunlight for a long time.

Keep bugs away

Ticks
Ticks can carry diseases like Lyme disease. May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month to remind us to stay safe from bites when outdoors. Here are some tips:

  1. Spray tick repellent on exposed skin and clothes. Follow label directions.
  2. Stay in the centre of walking trails.
  3. Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
  4. Inspect yourself, children and pets after spending time outdoors.
  5. Remove ticks quickly from people and pets.
  6. Take a shower within two hours of coming in.
  7. Keep grass and shrubs around homes cut short. The area will be dry and less suitable for blacklegged ticks to live in.

To know more about Lyme disease and other diseases caused by ticks, go to the Government of Manitoba CDC (Tick-Borne Diseases) page.

If you have a tick bite and feel sick, see your doctor. You can also call Health-Links-Info Sante at 204-788-8200 (toll-free) or 1-888 315-9257.

Mosquitoes
June to July is mosquito season in Manitoba. Here’s how to prevent bites:

  1. Use insect repellent.You can put it on your skin. You can also spray it on your clothes.
  2. Don’t know what kind of insect repellent to use? This article from CTV news can help you: Repelling mosquitoes: A guide to what works and what doesn’t. Find out which product protects longer and does not cause side-effects.
  3. Avoid going out after sunset. This is the time mosquitoes are out. If you must go out, protect your skin with repellent. Wear light-colored, loose clothes. Cover your arms, neck and legs.

Sources: The Government of Canada site (Sun safety basics) and Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors – Communicable Disease Control (CDC).

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